NBC: Community Needs Broader Appeal--No Disrespect Intended

At the Television Critics Association earlier today, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was quizzed about the firing of Community showrunner Dan Harmon. The writer, who created the show, was let go shortly after the third season finale aired, and the fourth season will be run by Moses Port and David Gurascio, veterans of more mainstream series like Just Shoot Me!.

“Those Thursday comedies (of which Community is one) tend to be a bit more narrow than we'd like," The Hollywood Reporter quotes Greenblatt as saying. "Community is a show that's always on the bubble, we decided to bring it back again and see what a fourth season would do for us. Sometime you want to freshen up the show and we just decided to do that, with no disrespect to anyone.”

As the cast and new showrunners established at San Diego Comic-Con International earlier this month (the panel is available on Hulu, by the way), Greenblatt told the TCA that, contrary to the fears of many viewers, the fan-favorite show won't fall apart this year.

“Fans are going to get the same show they have loved from the beginning,” he said. “Every so often it’s time to make a change with a showrunner; you evaluate the creative and how the show is run, how the writing staff works. Sometimes you want to freshen a show and we just decided it was time to do that with Community.”

He also suggested that, while the 13-episode fourth season order has been widely perceived as a farewell to the series, it Community could live on with a larger season order or another season if ratings are good enough.